Printed letters, Jan. 13, 2011

When I read in the Jan. 9 edition of The Daily Sentinel the headline, “Energy efficient projects good for the bottom line and the environment,” I immediately wondered how thoroughly that encouraging headline would be supported in the body of the article. Not very well, I am afraid.

Palisade Pharmacy’s solar-powered installation cost $70,000, and the article states it will pay for itself in four years. However, two-thirds of the cost was subsidized by government. Without that, actually, it would take 12 years for the operation to become cost-effective.

Will the cost of maintenance, repair and replacement over 12 years still make it, truly, cost effective? What was the cost to the environment of the rare-earth elements used in construction, mostly mined in the most polluted country on earth, China? What is the morality of a farmer in Topeka and a shopkeeper in Tallahassee paying to reduce the cost of electricity to a pharmacy in Palisade?

One has to believe in the unlikely theory that an increase in our atmosphere of a few parts per million of carbon dioxide has a significant impact on our climate to even think in these terms.

I have absolutely no objection to people surrounding themselves with green technology, some that actually may be cost effective, but please, don’t make the rest of us pay for your fantasy that you are saving the planet.

HANS CROEBER

Montrose

Gov. using Cabinet posts to further his objectives

News flash to Rick Wagner, Gov.-elect John Hickenlooper is a Democrat and his administration is a Democratic administration. There is a difference.

The Department of Labor and Employment is about actual people and their fair treatment. It is not about businesses and how to put employees in straightjackets, pay them as little as possible and treat them like chattel. Who better for the job than somebody whose life has been involved with people and the fair treatment of them?

The governor’s Energy Office can be what the governor wants it to be. The new governor is interested in promoting all kinds of energy with a particular emphasis on renewable and permanent energy sources. He should put an oil and gas industry representative in the job?

Sounds like Hick is interested in trying to further the work of Gov. Ritter in making Colorado an energy state with an emphasis on getting in on the ground floor of the inevitable development of new energy sources. That means jobs and a potential higher standard of living.

Did Wagner miss the fact that means more business and profit for those businesses?

What world does Wagner live in? Or did he just run out of ideas nearing deadline and fall back on his usual partisan nonsense?

JOHN BORGEN

Grand Junction

Council folded for apartment developer

The recent article covering the Jan. 5 City Council meeting focused on the hot-button issue of atheists giving the invocation, something that seems quite trivial in the larger scheme of things.

Meanwhile, there were a mere four sentences on a far more important event in the poker game of local civic life. Five members on the council voted to give away $106,140 in taxpayer chips to the big-stacked professional player, Davidson Homes, subsidizing the construction of a 60-unit apartment complex.

This is a project that is arguably unnecessary in the current market (“Now Leasing” signs remain plentiful in the city) and certainly unwanted by the neighborhoods adjacent to the building site where the density per acre is about half what these apartments will be.

But apparently tax relief is called for here in the hope that the virtues of infill development, construction jobs and more residential bicycling and walking will produce an ace on the river and a monster pot for all.

Alas, it’s obvious they’re drawing dead, and this is an absurd waste of public funds. I suspect many others would feel the same way if they weren’t distracted by those damned heathens.

Hey, where were they when our city fathers and mothers were bestowing the “Little Sisters of the Poor” treatment on a successful commercial company?

I guess they’d folded their cards and slipped out the back, having had their desired moment in the public eye.

Besides, given the pious ineptitude, slow dealers and dead money that passes for a City Council meeting in this card room, who can blame them?

PAUL ROLLAND

Grand Junction



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